Daily Archives: May 6, 2020

Microprose is back from the void, and they’ve brought some new strategy games with them – Critical Hit

Posted: May 6, 2020 at 7:07 am

Video games are a young mans pursuit. You see the next generation out there, with their trendy haircuts, ability to burn off an entire create of Mars Bars with a single push-up and their habit for staying up late at night, playing the hottest new games on the block. That doesnt mean that older gamers cant have some fun, especially when one of the oldest names in the video game scene pulls a Lazarus and revives itself.

For those of you who happen to have birthdays that pre-date the Big Bang, the name of Microprose might ring a few bells in your rusty heads. Formed in 1982 by Sid Meier and Bill Stealey, Microprose had a knack for releasing some of the most treasured strategy and simulation games back in the day. Think Civilisation, X-COM and Pirates.

Theyve been out of action for around two decades, but the brand has been snatched up by an Australian company, with David TitanIM Lagettie and Bill Stealey himself involved in the revival. Theyre not just looking to coast on past successes either, as the new Microprose is looking to publish three new games from the likes of Triassic Games,Hexdraw and Drydock Dreams Games:

Developer: Triassic Games

Brought to you by the lead designer of Cold Waters, Sea Power lets you control NATO and Warsaw Pact forces in a modern naval conflict. Whether its gunning it out with Boghammars in a surface duel, fighting off aerial attackers armed with long-range missiles, or hunting for enemy submarines with aircraft and surface ships, advanced weaponry and sensors are at your disposal.

Can you successfully hide your forces while detecting and tracking theirs? It is up to you to play an advanced game of cat and mouse on the high seas, to seize the initiative and attack with the advantage of surprise on your side. And at all times, you have to observe rules of engagement and take care not to cause an unnecessary incident that could lead to escalation. After all, you cannot really be sure just who that radar contact at 30.000 feet is, can you?

Developer: Hexdraw

Second Front is the tactical WWII game that genre enthusiasts always wanted and never really got. Sporting a full-fledged 3D engine and an easy to use user interface, the game is easy to play but hard to master. Playing a tactical game that is deeper than your average X-Com clone, with a competent AI and a powerful editor to create scenarios and campaigns has been the dream of tactical players for long.

Second Front comes with multiple campaigns covering different fronts of World War II and sporting German, American and Russian units. Scenarios are fought in a 60 turns battle cycle, from morning to night. Fight and rest or push your troops to the limit and press the attack. These are not set-pieces scripted battles but continuous emergent skirmishes with persistent loss, fatigue, and experience.

Developer: Drydock Dreams Games

Task Force Admiral Vol.1: American Carrier Battles is a single-player experience centered on the command of an early Pacific War US Navy carrier task force. As the overall commander, you are in charge of seeking the destruction of the enemy naval forces and preventing your opponent, the Japanese Navy, from accomplishing its objectives. To achieve your aims, you have at your disposal the most fearsome sea projection weapon known to Man in 1942: your carrier air groups and the task forces that support them.

Forget about the limitations of the past, and let the best of wargaming and simulation blend and blossom together in this new take on command at sea! Re-live the great battles of the first year of the Pacific War as if you were there yourself. In here there is no dice roll, no artificial skill-tree, no arbitrary stats, selective fog of war or supernatural crystal-clear communications. It is real-time crisis management for you, realism and historicity without concession, as little abstraction as can be, and loads of action, suspense and refreshing gameplay packed in the same single computer software.

So its pretty much business as usual for Microprose. Raise your canes up and celebrate with a cacophony of popping joints!

Last Updated: May 6, 2020

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Concerning Punting – Backing The Pack

Posted: at 7:07 am

My name is Tom OBrien, and I punted on 4th and 1. I punted on 4th and 1 at Clemson on their 43 yard line. I punted on 4th and 1 at Clemson on their 43 yard line in a one score game when my men controlled our own destiny to win the Atlantic and reach the ACC Championship game. This is my account of the events of that day, signed under the pains and penalties of perjury.

It was a fine November morn, in the two thousand tenth year of our Lord Jesus Christ. I, Tom OBrien, the Admiral of my Great RED Atlantic Fleet, set forth upon the high seas to a cow pasture in rural South Carolina to impose my will on the Tigers of Clemson. In my mind, they were fucked. Tigers cant swim.

The first act of war came from the Clemson Commander, a bumbling, discursive fellow called Dabo, hardly a name befitting a leader of men. His attack was subtle, yet swift. In what was perceived as a gesture of good will in the extending of provisions, they mustard gassed our team meal. Those assholes sent that South Carolina barbecue travesty to my men. Biological warfare is want to toll its true effects, a grim reality I would soon realize that afternoon.

We assembled for battle, the Tigers performing some strange rock rubbing ceremony that seems idolatry and tantamount to jacking off (insert X Men rock guy here) though I digress. To my boys, I said, Anchors aweigh! and the Battle of Rural South Carolina Cow Pasture commenced in a beautiful display of firepower and 3 and outs and arms-folded-mean-mugging that damn Dabo from my perch on the sideline.

Although a Naval man by education and service, trench warfare has always fascinated me. This is why I assemble such an accomplished cadre of men on the offensive and defensive lines. A wise man once said, Never hate your enemy, for it shall cloud your judgment. I allowed my hatred of this Dabo, his lack of decorum, his flamboyancy, to underestimate his ability for trench warfare. His defensive line was strong, yet nimble. Deft afoot, steel of will, bull of rush.

You see, me and my boy Dana Good Book had employed a strategy devised during our time at Boston College. We called this the Catholic Contraception method of blocking; you let everything through and pray nothing bad happens. We had initial success, taking a 10 point lead to the intermission. However, in the second half we were caught on our backs. Their incessant pounding broke our ranks, and we soon found that this pounding rendered our Contraception useless. By the time we adjusted to bubble screens, also known as Operation: Reservoir Tip, it was too late. They burst our backfield bubbles and lodged themselves into whichever carrier contained that egg-like pigskin. In essence, we were fucked.

Alas, we arrive at the day of our reckoning. The 4th quarter, where legends are forged and decisions must be made with precision. On Clemsons end of the cow pasture, we drive onward and have 3rd and 1. We try a nice, conservative run play, as any God fearing coach of menial success knows to be best, yet fail. 4th and 1. The down and distance. A championship season hinges upon my decision, along with the accolades and medals for the fruit salad on my dress whites. I quite fancy a diverse, full fruit salad.

Our destiny apparent, a bowel shaking decision looms. Go for it? Kick a field goal? (The Polish mercenary sniper we hired had missed on the day, and my confidence in him waned.) To make matters worse, the mustard gas of the morning intensified said bowel shaking. I had a severe case of the mudd butt. Yet after failing with the correct playcall on 3rd and 1, would we succeed on 4th? A warrior must know his enemy, and just as his defensive line had KNOWN (wink wink) my men in the backfield, so did Dabo know my tendencies. I had shown my hand. Dabo knew he could hold us. I had to fold. If Ive learned nothing in this life, the philosophy of Kenny Rogers would surely guide us, lest I soil my pantaloons on the sideline.

A punt. Pin them deep in their territory, we shall. Send out the defense that allowed Kyle Parker, yes Kyle Parker, to carve them up like Iberian pork? Yes. Yes, GOOD, they shall be our saving Grace and Dabo shall rue the day he engaged Admiral Tom in battle! And they shall sing songs of my bravery and erect statues in my honor! An odyssey for Admiral Tom! Major Tom merely received an oddity! A fine snap, a clean catch and...and...a punt that went two social distances. Ah, shit.

They say the Victor writes the history, but the Tom lost the game. NEVER AGAIN shall I err in special teams decisions! No more shall Tom OBriens decision to punt be the death knell for the Great RED Atlantic Fleet, a surly pack of wolves (a fine name, perhaps we shall adopt it! The North Carolina State University Pack of Wolves!) hungry for honor and destined for greatness. Now if youll excuse me, I must watch film of a budding young recruit from the state of Florida called Giovanni Bernard, for I wish him to join our ranks.

God Bless In Storms and Squalls,

Admiral Thomas P. OBrien

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A New Comic Book Explores the Life of Irish Adventurer William Lamport – Dublin Inquirer

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Photo courtesy of Eoin McAuley

As a freshman at Trinity College Dublin in 2010, Eoin McAuley was trawling the library one day for inspiration.

You could plug in keywords and see what came up in the catalogue, says McAuley, via Zoom from his Tallaght home.

I remember once, just by happenstance, typing in things like Zorro and Real Zorro, he says. That was how he first came across the name William Lamport.

He then stumbled on a book by Gerard Ronan called The Irish Zorro: The Extraordinary Adventures of William Lamport (16151659).

It was really insightful, really got me engaged and then kind of led me down a path towards reading up on the wider history and circumstances that surrounded Lamport, says McAuley.

McAuley learnt about Lamports journey from plantation Ireland to piracy on the high seas, and palace intrigue in the court of King Philip of Spain. From espionage and freedom-fighting in Mexico to even further afield, still.

Out of his research into the life of this seventeenth-century figure, comes a new serialised comic book The Legend of William Lamport, that is currently being released sequentially online.

Wexford-born Lamports historical significance is nothing to be sniffed at.

He did also, after all, pen an early declaration of Mexican independence, according to a short biography by historian Ryan Dominic Crewe.

Lamports proclamation talked of equality of opportunity, radical land reform, racial equality and democratically elected leadership more than one hundred years before the French Revolution.

It is perhaps surprising that, despite his influence in international affairs of the time, the Irish adventurers most visible legacy today can arguably be found elsewhere, in the realm of popular culture.

Some say that the tales surrounding Lamports exploits served as the jumping-off point for the very notion of the costumed hero in popular culture.

With Eoin, all roads lead to Batman, says artist Cormac Hughes, of his colleague McAuley. Lamports story did too.

McAuley says that he was fascinated to learn that the masked swashbuckler Zorro created by Johnston McCulley may in fact have been inspired by Lamport, an Irish man from Wexford.

Zorro, meanwhile, inspired Bob Kane, one of the co-creators of Batman, says McAuley.

So, Zorro came first and from there came Batman and the many heroes we know today, he says.

You can trace these types of characters through fiction, he says. But I never thought they might all have been inspired by one real historical figure and that character came from Wexford.

Says McAuley: I was fascinated by that. I knew I had to sit down and do some research.

Ive always been fascinated with finding the element of truth behind certain myths, says McAuley.

Take the well-known story of King Arthur pulling the sword from the stone, he says. Now, some people have suggested that story is maybe an interpretation of the casting of a sword from a stone mold.

McAuleys interest in unpacking and examining the history behind folktales and mythological figures fed directly into his other great passion: comic books.

Ive always had an interest in comic books. Not just superheroes but the medium as a whole, he says.

These days, McAuley heads up his own independent comics publisher, Lightning Strike Comics.

With a series of acclaimed anthologies showcasing original work by Ireland-based artists and writers as well as special collaborations on big international characters such as Sherlock Holmes and The Phantom Lightning Strike is a big player in the, albeit small, world of domestic comics.

McAuley dove into Lamports own writings as well as the lore surrounding the man, and began, unknowingly at first, the process of introducing the character of Lamport himself into the comic-book canon.

Adapting historical events into a comic book format brought with it no shortage of issues. Not least, the unreliability of Lamports own account of his life.

There was a great deal of contradiction in the life story of William Lamport, says McAuley, laughing.

Says Hughes: Lamport himself was fierce fond of twisting the truth.

The decision to release The Legend of William Lamport in a serialised digital format available for free at thelegendofwilliamlamport.com is already proving valuable.

Thus far, theyve released the comics prologue, which recounts Lamports daring escape from Mexicos Grand Inquisition circa 1659.

Depicting our hero leaping across rooftops and making short work of back-alley thugs, the short extract evokes the countless costumed crusaders whose creators, some say, owe much to tales of Lamport exploits, whether they realised it or not.

Releasing it bit by bit means that McAuley can tweak the pages to keep the swashbuckling adventure as close to historically accurate as possible.

Even since we have released the prologue, Ive had to go back and change some dates because [Lamport] lies about his age so often, says McAuley.

According to some documents he is fighting in battles when he is 12 and that might not be right. But, with Lamport you can never know. He was first arrested for treason by the time he was 13 or 14, after all, says McAuley.

Each installment of The Legend of William Lamport is also set to be bolstered with supplementary materials penned by McAuley.

Im not saying that anyone should be quoting the graphic novel in their dissertation, McAuley says, quickly. Were definitely taking a romanticised point of view and approach to the story.

But theyre tacking on articles about how the book has been made, or the history behind each weeks installment.

McAuley says that once its all done, the goal is to collect it all into one paperback for release in late 2021 with the help of South Dublin County Council.

If youve never read a comic book before, I think this a great starting point because its something that isnt like a lot of the usual content that is out there, says McAuley.

It is more of a historical drama based on true events. For people who would usually read traditional American comics, dont worry our heroes still wore tights back in the 1600s, he says.

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Pirates of the Caribbean: Every Main Character, Ranked by Sword-Fighting Skills – Screen Rant

Posted: at 7:07 am

Full of adventure, danger, and romance, thePirates of the Caribbeanfranchise has something for everyone. Over five swashbuckling films, fans have followed Captain Jack Sparrow and his companions on quests for mythical artifacts, into battle on the High Seas, and against adversariesas varied as the Royal Navy and the Kraken.

RELATED:Pirates Of The Caribbean: The 10 Greatest Sword Fights

Every member of the colorful cast has tested their mettle by crossing blades with buccaneers, soldiers, and cursed killers. The films boast some of the most elaborate duels ever to appear in cinema, including one of the longest and most elaborate between Jack Sparrow, Will Turner, and James Norrington inPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.Here's every main character ranked by their sword-fighting skills.

The son of Elizabeth and William Turner, Henry Turner had both his parents' good looks and their rebellious spirit. Resentful at his father for being cursed to command theFlying Dutchman,when he was of age he set off to free him by finding the Trident of Poseidon inPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales.

An officer in the Royal Navy, Turner learned his way around firearms and sabers in an effort to track down his parents' old compatriot, Captain Jack Sparrow. Like his father, Henry is a skilled swordsman, if a little wet behind the ears.

Though she appeared as a damsel in distress inPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,byPirates of the Caribbean: At World's EndElizabeth Swann had been around pirates long enough to pick up their handiwork with a blade, which she put to great use in the battle between the Pirate Brethren, Davy Jones, and the Royal Navy.

In an unlikely turn of events, Elizabeth Swann was made Pirate King of the Brethren Court in the franchise's third film, and she fought valiantly beside her pirate companions when Davy Jones and the Royal Navy attempted to destroy them.

A pick-pocket and master thief, Angelica was introduced inPirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tidesas both the ex-lover of Captain Jack Sparrow and the daughterof the infamous pirate Blackbeard.

RELATED: Keira Knightley's 10 Best Movies, According to IMDb

Having spent time in some of the most salacious ports in the Caribbean and on the decks of some of the most dreaded pirate vessels on the High Seas, Angelica was the match of any male scalawag she encountered, especially during her fight with Barbossa and the Royal Navy over the Fountain of Youth.

Decorated by the Spanish Royal Navy for his pursuit of pirates across the Spanish Main, Armando Salazar was on the verge of capturing the elusive Captain Jack Sparrow when he ran afoul of the Devil's Triangle and it cursed him and his crew.

A formidable opponent in battle, Salazar was able to destroy any ship that found itself in the Triangle, and even in his cursed state he proved capable of taking on the likes of Hector Barbossa and Captain Jack Sparrow until Barbossa mortally wounded him.

Introduced in Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger TidesEdward Teach, or Blackbeard as he was known on the High Seas, was a real pirate that plundered the Caribbean. He was known for placing lit matches in his beard during boarding parties and wearing bracers across his chest with six pistols.

Blackbeard came by his reputation through psychological intimidation, savvy battle tactics, and never letting himself be manipulated (including at his own daughter's hand). Unfortunately, he was no match for Captain Jack Sparrow's blade.

Thought to be the stuff of old legend, Davy Jones was a fearsome pirate who captained theFlying Dutchman,charged with ferrying souls to the netherworld by the woman he loved, the sea goddess Calypso. Her betrayal led him to abandon his duties, and kill innocent sailors out of anger and grief.

RELATED: Pirates of the Caribbean: 5 Best Villains (& The 5 Worst)

Davy Jones couldn't be killed except by being stabbed through the heart, which was not on his person but extracted and kept hidden away in a chest. He was invincible in combat until his heart was located and used against him by Lord Cutler Beckett and the East India Trading Company.

Once first mate under Captain Jack Sparrow, Hector Barbossa mutinied against him and stole theBlack Pearlfor himself,winding up cursed for his trouble by a chest of Aztec gold. Barbossa wasn't bested in combat by Sparrow until the curse was lifted and he could bemortally wounded.

He was resurrected by the sea goddess Calypso in Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, and became Sparrow's begrudging ally in the fight against the East India Trading Company and Davy Jones. He survived through all five films in the franchise, until he finally sacrificed himself to save his daughter.

Once a Commodore in the Royal Navy, James Norrington found himself without a ship and a commission after failing to capture Captain Jack Sparrow inPirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest.He became a begrudging member of Sparrow's crew after that, biding his time until he could double cross him and retain his rank.

RELATED: Pirates of the Caribbean: Every Main Character, Ranked By Intelligence

After an intense duel between Sparrow, Will Turner, and himself at the end of the film, he obtained the heart of Davy Jones, which he exchanged for a Letter of Marque signed by Lord Cutler Beckett and an Admiral's rank. Disciplined and skilled with a blade, his only weakness was Elizabeth Swann.

Though introduced as a humble blacksmith inPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,Will Turner's inconspicuous trade belied his exceptional skill as a swordsman. He practiced three hours a day with the blades that he made, so that when he encountered a pirate like Captain Jack Sparrow, he could kill it.

Turner would go from being Sparrow's friend to being his adversary, dueling the pirate over the heart of Davy Jones to lift the curse on his father. By the third film however, they wouldtake a stand against Davy Jones and the East India Trading Company, Turner once again putting his exceptional fighting skills to good use.

Captain Jack Sparrow may appear perpetually drunk and overly confident, but he has good reason for both; it causes everyone to underestimate his prowess with a blade. As he demonstrated to Will Turner during their first encounter, he was nigh unbeatable in a duel.

Over the five films in the franchise, Jack Sparrow crossed swords with Will Turner, Hector Barbossa, James Norrington, Blackbeard, Armando Salazar, and many others, always emerging to fight another day.

NEXT: Star Wars: 10 Best Lightsaber Duels, Ranked

NextThe Vampire Diaries: 10 Unanswered Questions We Still Have About Klaus

Kayleena has been raised on Star Wars and Indiana Jones from the crib. A film buff, she has a Western collection of 250+ titles and counting that she's particularly proud of. When she isn't writing for ScreenRant, CBR, or The Gamer, she's working on her fiction novel, lifting weights, going to synthwave concerts, or cosplaying. With degrees in anthropology and archaeology, she plans to continue pretending to be Lara Croft as long as she can.

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Which Pirates Of The Caribbean Character Are You Based On Your Zodiac? – Screen Rant

Posted: at 7:07 am

One of the most beloved movie franchises of recent years,Disney'sPirates of the Caribbeanfilms have continuously entertained fans since the early '00s. Beginning withPirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl,the perfect mix of action, adventure, comedy, and romance spawned several popular sequels.

RELATED:Pirates Of The Caribbean: 10 Fan Art Pictures That Captain Jack Sparrow Would Steal

The biggest attraction of the films is their colorful characters. From the dynamic Captain Jack Sparrow to the courageous Will Turner, and the terrifying Davy Jones to the resourceful Elizabeth Swann, there's a memorable hero or villain for every fan to identify with. Find out which Pirates of the Caribbeancharacter you are based on your zodiac sign.

The face of thePirates of the Caribbeanfranchise, and one of the most memorable characters in cinematic history, Captain Jack Sparrow is also the Pirate Lord of the Caribbean and without a doubt, the best pirate anyone has ever heard of.

As an Aries, Jack is adventurous, overly-confident, and quick-witted. His dynamic enthusiasm and pioneering nature draw others to him, though sometime the dark side of his sign makes him selfish, impulsive, and recklessly foolhardy.

Governor Weatherby Swann's daughter and sweetheart-turned-wife of Will Turner, Elizabeth Swann went from being a damsel in distress to leading the Pirate Brethren as their Pirate King.

Like a true Taurus, Elizabeth is both loving and determined, expressing a profound loyalty to those she cares about. Cross her (like Jack Sparrow) or those under her charge, however, and see her jealous and resentful side emerge.

Manging pretty well for a man who began his life as a shipwrecked orphan, Will Turner went from being a humble blacksmith in Port Royal to becoming the captain of theFlying Dutchmanand marrying his sweetheart, Elizabeth Swann.

RELATED:Pirates of the Caribbean: 10 Things Everyone Missed About Will Turner

As with most Gemini, Will is bold and adaptive, as evidenced by his ability to pick up skills pertaining to both swordsmanship and seamanship. While youthful and lively the majority of the time, he could be inconsistently superficial with Elizabeth, and apprehensive in his dealings with pirates.

Bootstrap Bill Turner was a pirate aboard theBlack Pearland later theFlying Dutchman,exchanging one cursed existence for another under two famous captains. His son William followed his seafaring footsteps, and eventually became the third captain he sailed with.

Like many Cancers, Bill Turner could be cautious with his love, as he was when reunited with his son. But once they found each other again, he became protective and sympathetic. His protectiveness over Will occasionally made him overly emotional, at the expense of his better judgment.

Blackbeard was one of the most famous pirates to ever sail the High Seas on his shipThe Queen Anne's Revenge.Known for his psychological warfare, he often boarded ships with flaming matches in his beard and multiple pistol braces across his chest.

RELATED:Pirates Of The Caribbean: 10 Ways Real Life Pirate History Influenced The Franchise

Charming, generous, and creative like many Leos, Blackbeard was only patronizing when he sensed disrespect and insolence. His faith was what he chose to believe, and while he was intolerant of the religious variety (to the chagrin of his daughter), he believed in sea prophecies.

As governor of Port Royal, Governor Weatherby Swann held considerable influence in the Caribbean (or so he thought), with his daughter Elizabeth. He could never have predicted her headstrong nature would lead her on an adventure with pirates.

RELATED:Pirates Of The Caribbean: 10 Hidden Details About The Main Characters Everyone Completely Missed

Like most Virgos, Governor Swann was meticulous and practical, often letting his commitment to tradition override his critical thinking skills. He was conservative and analytical, and never fully approved of Elizabeth's choices.

Once Captain Jack Sparrow's first mate, Hector Barbossa led a mutiny against him to secure theBlack Pearlfor himself. The ship would pass between the two pirates' hands many times, as they shared a begrudging friendship.

A true Libra, Barbossa was a gentleman pirate, and capable of being charming and urbane when he wished to be. Occasionally self-indulgent and easily influenced, he rarely made the mistake of trusting those who double-crossed him twice.

Once a human sailor in love with the sea goddess Calypso, Davy Jones was charged with ferrying souls lost at sea to the netherworld aboard the Flying Dutchman. When Calypso betrayed his love, he neglected his duties and carved out his own heart.

RELATED:Pirates Of The Caribbean: 10 Things Everyone Missed About Davy Jones

Beneath the forceful and powerful presence of this Scorpio, there was a passionate and emotionally intuitive man. Calypso's betrayal caused him to secretly obsess about their ruined future to the point that he lost all semblance of humanity to his resentment.

An emissary of King George I's, Lord Cutler Beckett used the might of the East India Trading Company to enact the will of the Crown as well as his personal business interests. He sought to exterminate every pirate in existence and have a monopoly on all trade in the Caribbean.

Though he could be manipulative and meticulous, like many Sagittarius, Cutler Beckett was quite optimistic and good-humored even in his dealings with pirates he hated. For all his robust wheeling and dealing, his blind superficiality and careless overconfidence cost him the War Against Piracy.

Once a Commodore in the Royal Navy, James Norrington lost his commission and his reputation in pursuit of Captain Jack Sparrow. He was only able to regain them by choosing to serve in the East India Trading Company, which questioned his sense of honor and integrity.

RELATED:Pirates of the Caribbean: Every Main Character, Ranked By Intelligence

Like most Capricorns, James Norrington was practical, ambitious, and disciplined. Though he was emotionally reserved,he had a dry sense of humor. When he was at his lowest point serving alongside Sparrow, he wasincredibly pessimistic and resentful.

As changing and mercurial as the sea, Tia Dalma was an Obeah voodoo practitioner who also happened to be Calypso the sea goddess, bound in human form by the Pirate Brethren for her betrayal of Davy Jones.

As an Aquarius, Tia Dalma was both playful and independent, as well as unpredictable and contrary. Her temper was legendarily volatile, and she could just as easily gush romantically as she could become severely emotionally detached.

A merchant sailor turned pirate, Joshamee Gibbs sailed with both Jack Sparrow and Hector Barbossa, often found at the helm or when not on duty, in his cups. He kept to the Pirate Code and was a loyal comrade.

Like most Pisces, Gibbs could be both practical andimaginative when he chose tobe, fussing over theorders of Captain Jack one minute and dreaming about buried treasure the next.His constant worrying was nothing a bottle of rum couldn't fix.

NEXT:Pirates Of The Caribbean: 10 Questions We Still Have (That Could Be Answered In A 6th Movie)

NextThe Vampire Diaries: 10 Unanswered Questions We Still Have About Klaus

Kayleena has been raised on Star Wars and Indiana Jones from the crib. A film buff, she has a Western collection of 250+ titles and counting that she's particularly proud of. When she isn't writing for ScreenRant, CBR, or The Gamer, she's working on her fiction novel, lifting weights, going to synthwave concerts, or cosplaying. With degrees in anthropology and archaeology, she plans to continue pretending to be Lara Croft as long as she can.

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The Immuni app is still far away, Conte: "it takes time, tests are needed" – InTallaght

Posted: at 7:07 am

A few hours after the beginning of phase 2 of the health emergency, the Immuni app launch is still on the high seas. This was revealed by Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte, who in an interview revealed that the launch of the application that will serve to trace the contacts of infected people is far away.

"Before the diffusion of Immuni throughout the national territory it is necessary to carry out tests and this requires technical times that cannot be compressed"explained the Premier, who still wanted to remember how participation in the program is absolutely voluntary and not mandatory.

"The App is on a voluntary basis, it will work alongside other contact tracing tools and is based on bluetooth. This choice allows to respect citizens' privacy", says Conte, for dispel citizens' doubts about confidentiality and data processing.

As explained in the Immuni decree of a few days ago, in fact, the application will be based on Bluetooth LE technology and not on GPS to identify users. Initially many had speculated on a launch already for tomorrow, as containment measures will be relaxed.

Immuni's data will be deleted by December 31, 2020, and apparently the technicians would have chosen the same approach as Apple and Google.

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HS football: Seas Joe Goerge makes the most of a tough situation as he gets acquainted with new team – SILive.com

Posted: at 7:07 am

Joe Goerge is not one to complain.

St. Joseph by-the-Seas new varsity football coach knows hes in the same boat as his colleagues as the coronavirus pandemic has put a stranglehold on all off-season workouts.

Hes also fully aware, of course, that all athletes that play a spring sport are being deprived of competing at all this time around.

But Goerge, who was named the Vikings new coach on Feb. 27 after spending the better part of the last 29 years in New Jersey, is at a bit more of a disadvantage on the gridiron because he would have been using this time getting to know what he has on his roster as the fall approaches.

"I met the kids when I was introduced to the school (in February), but that wasnt the entire team because not everyone could make it. Then, we had one chance to meet the entire team in the gym for about 35-40 minutes shortly after that,'' said Goerge, who, before heading to New Jersey, honed his craft as a head coach at Port Richmond HS between 1982-91. "The school closed shortly after that.

"Weve been keeping as much contact as possible with on-line meetings since.''

Fortunately for Goerge, he does have some things that will help ease into the transition, including the fact he retained six assistant coaches from former head coach Mike Coronas staff of a year ago.

"Of course, we have all the film from last year,'' he said. "And having the assistants from last years staff helps us a bit too because they know the kids and what theyre like.

"But, obviously, the off-season program is a time for evaluation and not being able (to run it) makes things harder.''

May is traditionally the month where high school teams are allowed on-the-field workouts, albeit without pads and helmets. One of the problems concerning Goerges situation is he uses an entirely different offensive system than Corona used.

Corona used a spread offense while Goerge is planning to install a triple-option offense, something hes used for the last 10-12 years.

"It would certainly be an advantage to be able to do walk-throughs to go over certain things like stances and starts,'' said Goerge, whose son, Jason, is his offensive coordinator and offensive line coach. "Theres obviously going to be different stuff (being put in) and this would be a time where coaches would be there every day.

"But, unfortunately, a hands-on type of approach is out for now,'' added the coach, who is still teaching through remote learning at South Brunswick HS in New Jersey. "We have a big team (Sea had over 80 players on its roster last season, including almost 60 underclassman) and wed like to put them through everything to see what we have and where theyll fit in in the big picture.''

Goerge, whose team has a nine-game, regular-season schedule that includes a season-opening, non-league contest against Brearly HS (N.J.) and games against each of Staten Islands other CHSFL schools, said official workouts dont commence until Aug. 21, if permitted.

For now, hell continue to monitor the coronavirus situation along with everyone else.

"It is what it is -- its the approach we have to take,'' he said. "Were going to keep the faith and keep pushing ahead.''

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HS football: Seas Joe Goerge makes the most of a tough situation as he gets acquainted with new team - SILive.com

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Indian seafarers fear job loss as government dithers on crew change in foreign waters – BusinessLine

Posted: at 7:07 am

India risks incurring the wrath of the global shipping industry and losing out to rivals such as China, the Philippines and Ukraine on seafaring jobs as the government dithers on a strategy to evacuate thousands of crew stranded on board ships at overseas ports, some of them several days after their contracts have ended.

Some 30,000 Indian seafarers, 70 per cent of whom work on cruise liners, are stranded overseas, awaiting repatriation to India.

As the pandemic spread rapidly, cruise line operators halted services and these luxury ships are either idling at ports or are on the high seas.

The cruise ships are not doing any business currently and thousands of crew members from different countries, were staying on board the liners.

A few days ago, most of the Filipino, Indonesian and Ukrainian seafarers were repatriated to their countries on chartered flights arranged by the cruise line owners, after the respective governments allowed them to return.

That leaves only the Indian crew on board, in the absence of a plan to facilitate their return and the ban on international flights from March 24.

The expenses of the remaining Indian crew is being borne by the owners of the cruise lines.

A poor impression

Now, that creates an impression, said Abdulgani Serang, general secretary-cum-treasurer of the National Union of Seafarers of India (NUSI).

When the cruise line owners are bleeding, they are definitely going to remember this when the situation turns around that India did not co-operate. They are spending lots of money on maintaining Indians on board their ships. Many of the seafarers are put up in hotels, somebody is paying for all that, Serang said.

They will give preference to Filipinos who, as it is, outnumber Indians as general-purpose staff. The shipping industry will give added preference to them because of the ease of doing business with a Filipino, the proof is there, he stated.

The Shipping Minister, Mansukh Mandaviya, held a video conference with seafarers unions and shipping companies a few days ago to discuss a way out, as demand grows for framing a so-called standard operating procedure (SOP) for seafarers stranded abroad, similar to the one finalised for crew change at Indian ports on April 21.

After some teething troubles, the otherwise well-defined SOP is taking effect in Indian ports. We now have to focus on the larger challenge of sign-on/sign-off in foreign ports. Seafarers and their families are running out of patience and its straining their mental health, said Captain Rajesh Unni, CEO and Founder of Singapore-based ship manager, Synergy Group.

Why cant the government make a SOP for seafarers sailing in foreign waters. Is it too difficult to start flights with better caution than start a railway service for migrant workers with no caution, says Mohammed Arif, a second engineer on a ship, hailing from Raipur.

As China and the Philippines implement a green channel for crew change, Indian seafarers say they should be prepared to sacrifice jobs.

By the time international flights operate from India, most Indian seafarers will be replaced by other nationalities, said Dhyan Ramakrishnan, a third mate working on board a ship.

Do we really want Indian seafarers to lose their market, our well-earned reputation from ages? Now is the only time to take action, Captain Mahadev Dhandhiya, a master mariner, urged the government.

Indian seafarers working on board cargo ships sailing in international waters are also facing a testing time.

The cargo ships are running; they are doing business, but the seafarers working on those ships have been asked to extend their contracts by 1-3 months, says Serang.

Having an extended contract will affect their physical and mental state of mind. Suppose an accident takes place because of the fatigue. The seafarer has been working on that ship for 11-12 months, saturation point will come, and in that mind frame, suppose anything happens, says Serang, making a strong case for bringing seafarers back to India.

All seafarers (stranded abroad) are struggling to join ships or go home, says the International Maritime Federation (IMF). They are waiting for the hub airport travel system, said the Federation, an association of Indian shipping entrepreneurs, crew managers and maritime training institutions.

The IMF is hoping that the Shipping Ministry will resolve the impasse as negative sentiments are high for the treatment given to Indian seafarers.

Serang said cruise line owners are willing to send them back, by chartering flights with their own money. But, if the Indian government is not going to take them in, if the government does not lift the ban on international travel, that is the problem, he said.

Cruise ship owners/ operators have already put in writing that they are willing to bear the cost of chartered flights. It will require some 10-15 flights because thousands have to come in. They will ensure that once the seafarers come in, the quarantine and other things will be taken care of. All these things they have put in writing, but permission is not being granted. That is not happening; that is the problem, Serang added.


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6 Takeaways from the Largest-Ever Study of Atheists in America – Friendly Atheist – Patheos

Posted: at 7:06 am

Whenever major polling groups survey Americans about religion, atheists are usually lumped in with agnostics and people who believe in something even if they arent part of any organized religion the Nones. Its hard to know what atheists in America believe simply becauseits hard to find a representative sample and a polling group willing to look at us specifically.

Its also cost-prohibitive. It may be useful to know how different religious groups voted, for example, but not necessarily how atheists differed from agnostics since we mostly vote the same way.

The downside of that is that theres a lot about Secular Americans that we just dont know. How many of us are accepted by our families? How many of us are open about our atheism? How many of us say we face discrimination?

American Atheists has taken a big leap in fixing that with the release of Reality Check: Being Nonreligious in America.

They used information obtained through the (online) U.S. Secular Survey to find out what roughly 34,000 non-religious participants thought about a variety of topics. 34,000. They say its the largest ever data collection project on secular Americans and their experiences.

To be clear, this isnt a survey about all atheists in America. Youd need a lot of money to pull that off. This is a self-selected group of people, the kind who are willing to take this sort of survey online. But it was heavily promoted, in a variety of ways, to gather as many participants as possible, and theres still a lot of useful information we can glean from that.

So what did we learn? Here are just 6 takeaways:

More than three quarters of survey participants reported to identify as nonreligious (79.6%), atheists (79.4%), and secular (75.1%) very much. A little over three fifths of survey participants very much identified as freethinkers (64.9%), and a similar number as humanists (64.6%), while slightly fewer very much identified as skeptics (61.4%). The vast majority of participants (94.8%) identified as atheists to at least some extent. Survey participants did not identify as agnostics (35.1%) as strongly as they did with the other identities.

I suspect most of us use a variety of these labels depending on who were talking to. Everything but agnostic would apply to me personally.

While almost one-third (31.4%) of survey participants mostly or always concealed their nonreligious identity from members of their immediate family, the rate of concealment was much higher for extended family members (42.7%). Nearly half of participants mostly or always concealed their nonreligious identity among people at work (44.3%) and people at school (42.8%).

Im surprised by how many more people hide their atheism at work than from their families. I would have thought its safer to tell your work colleagues youre not religious than your religious parents, but outing yourself at work may pose greater threats to your livelihood.

As expected, the vast majority of participants were raised in the Christian religion, either in Protestant Christian (54.7%) or Catholic (29.9%) households. One in seven participants (14.3%) were raised in nonreligious households.

More than 40% of participants said their homes were somewhat firm or very firm about religious expectations. In other words, they took religion seriously in their families and yet it didnt keep them in the fold. Its also going to be fascinating to see what happens when we have more kids raised in non-religious homes. While only 14.3% of participants grew up with non-religious parents, I suspect that number will skyrocket over the next generation.

The most common areas where participants reported having negative experiences due to their nonreligious identity were using social media or commenting online (58.3%) and with their families (54.5%).

Participants were also asked if they had been threatened, experienced property damage, or been hit, punched, kicked, or assaulted in the past 3 years because of their secular identities. While the vast majority (86.7%) of survey participants did not experience any of these events, 12.2% of survey participants reported being personally threatened, 2.5% had their personal property damaged, and 0.9% have been hit, punched, kicked, or physically assaulted because of their nonreligious identity.

Not surprisingly, stigmatization was highest in what wed consider very religious states Utah, Mississippi, the Bible Belt, etc.

Most participants want secular schools, access to birth control, and no special treatment for religious groups. But fighting a Ten Commandments monument on public property? Not a major priority.

In order to understand the policy priorities of nonreligious people, we asked survey participants how important a number of policy issues were to them personally. Issues were selected from among those discussed as important to nonreligious people during focus groups. While survey participants expressed strong interest in all these policy issues, overwhelming concern was expressed for maintaining secular public schools (91.6%) and about the denial of health care based on religious beliefs (88.0%).

This doesnt surprise me. There are a lot of groups that will fight for abortion rights and keeping schools secular. Those are not atheist issues, per se. The sort of things atheist groups tend to fight are, by definition, going to be niche causes, even if they have legal importance.

Nearly all participants who answered the question reported that they were registered to vote (94.7%), 87.0% voted in 2016, and nearly as many (86.5%) reported that they always or nearly always vote.

Although not directly comparable, these rates are much higher than the voting rate in 2016 (55.7%) for members of the general voting age population (FEC, 2017).

At some point, Democrats need to recognize were a valuable voting bloc and stop avoiding us. Its to their advantage to engage with us and support our (fairly mild, totally sensible) policy issues.

In a statement, Nick Fish, president of American Atheists, said, Now that we know the power of organized secularism, its up to secular organizations to advocate for change and provide as many nonreligious Americans as possible with the support and community they need. Thats a fair point. This survey isnt about what certain groups ought to be doing. Its about who they all represent. If just about everyone is dealing with anti-atheist discrimination, for example, then calling it out and working to change it would be a valuable endeavor for any secular group.

Theres so much to sift through in this 60-page report, so check it out for yourself. Weve never seen anything like this.

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Using Digital Twins to Boost Production, Cut Costs at Floating Offshore Wind Farms – Greentech Media News

Posted: at 7:04 am

Withassets installed far from shore in harsh conditions, offshore wind turbine manufacturers and project operators areturning to new digital tools to optimize performance, boost power productionand minimize downtime. One such tool is the use of digital copies, or twins, of physical turbines to assist with real-time monitoring of offshore wind projects.

The California Energy Commissions Electric Program Investment Charge (EPIC), a ratepayer-funded energy innovation research and development program, recently awarded a $2 million grant toNorwegian engineering company Aker Solutions and Cognite, an Oslo-based industrial software company, to develop a digital twin model of the physical floating offshore wind turbines that could be deployed along Californias coastline by the mid-2020s.

Aker Solutions hasworked on digital twinsfor many industries power, utilities, shipping, oil and gas, and manufacturing but the new research project is its first for floating offshore wind turbines, Hans Petter vrevik, head of offshore wind projects and business development for the U.S., said in an interview.

The $2 million grant was awarded under an EPIC program intended to advance next-generation wind energy technologies and accelerate the maturation of the Golden States promising but embryonicoffshore wind market.

Aker Solutions and Cognites NextWind Real Time Condition Monitoring platform will take representational data from typical equipment that would be used in a floating offshore wind farm to develop a blueprint for a real-world project. The aim is to generate data and insights that enableimprovements in power production, operations and maintenance (O&M) costs, and environmental performance throughout the operational life of a project.

The real-world project cited as a potential case study by vrevik is the 100- to 150-megawatt floating offshore wind farm proposed by the Redwood Coast Energy Authority and a consortium of private companies, including Aker Solutions, for waters located more than 20 miles off the coast of the city of Eureka in Northern California.

Shashi Barla, principal analyst for the global wind supply chain and technology at Wood Mackenzie Power & Renewables, noted that one of the consortium partnersfor the Redwood Coast Offshore Wind project is EDP Renewables one of the world's largest wind asset owners/developers. That "implies some serious interest in the technology," Barla said.

GE Renewable Energy claims to have developed the first digital wind farm in 2015 and is adding digital twin functionality to the companys Predix software platform. GE is building an app using digital twin technology that will allow engineers to make better decisions about when to run its offshore turbines at full power out at sea.

Prior to construction, digital twins allowplanners to do modeling to analyze and predict O&M costs for a project. But, according to vrevik, the real value outtake of this, in terms of reduced O&M costs, will come when you actually put your projects in the water, and you basically start to collect the data and process it.

At that point, operators will be able to use the digital twin to compare the idealized, engineered condition of the equipment to the actual condition of the real-world project. Real-time monitoring through sensors embedded in the equipment should help wind farm owners avoid costlyunplanned maintenance or repairs.

"You can constantly adjust and optimize how you operate and how you maintain the asset,"vrevik told GTM.

Work on the EPIC-backed digital twin research project is expected to begin in May or June this year, with completion set for early 2023.

vrevik saidAker Solutions and its partners see the Redwood Coast Offshore Wind Project as an ideal first offshore wind project for California, both in terms of size and the fact that it's in an area where there [are few]conflicts and there's a strong wish to see it happen from the local community.

The federal Bureau of Ocean Energy Management may hold an auction for offshore wind lease areas in California by the end of 2020.

While not a new concept, digital twins are playing a growing role in the wind industry,WoodMac's Barla said.

Leading turbine [manufacturers]already have digital twins of their installed fleet that will help optimize the turbine performance and lower the O&M costs over the life of the asset, predominantly on the predictive maintenance of the components, he wrote in an email.

The digital models help in determining the impact on the physical turbines. The virtual sensors enable monitoring of the health of the turbines like temperature check, vibrationsand any aberration in parameters compared to normal performance."

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Using Digital Twins to Boost Production, Cut Costs at Floating Offshore Wind Farms - Greentech Media News

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